A total of 374 businesses in Dover and Deal have had their rates reduced after I pressured ministers.
Earlier in the year I met with local business owners concerned by a rates revaluation in February. I then took their views to ministers at the Department for Communities and Local Government.
Over the summer Marcus Jones MP told me he had set up three new relief schemes for hundreds of businesses in his constituency. This week Dover District Council confirmed 374 businesses have benefitted so far, saving more than £200,000.
The rate changes needed to happen – yet in some cases they put pressure on small businesses. These firms are the lifeblood of our economy. I told ministers we must support them during the transition. So I'm delighted the Government has acted.
This week Marcus Jones told me to keep encouraging businesses in Dover and Deal to apply for reduced costs, so I urge them to contact the council. The £207,003 awarded in Dover and Deal came in the form of three relief schemes – one that caps annual bill increases at £600, one that gives a £1,000 discount to pubs, and one that can be applied with discretion to any business facing higher rates.
Almost twice as many new businesses opened in Dover and Deal last year compared to 2010. Unemployment is way down and more than £400 million has been invested in the local area.
We must stay on course to build the better future we all want for our corner of Kent.
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